The Economic Boost from Wineries in the Midwest!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Blog 28

Thank You Midwest Wineries for the Economic Boost!


As winery owners from the Midwest make their way to the Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew Conference & Trade Show in St. Charles, Missouri this week we want to say “Thank You”, to all Midwest winery owners! As the show website indicates, the show is a business to business conference and trade show for wineries who want their businesses to “thrive and prosper.”  Thrive and prosper they have and we all benefit.  Let’s look at these facts from a few Midwestern states:

The Indiana Wine and Grape Council predicts that wineries have an economic impact of $100-$300 million per year in Indiana!

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) reports that the winery industry in Kentucky has been growing exponentially with over 60 wineries in the state and sure to pass 100 within the next couple of years. The KDA and the University of Kentucky are working on an economic impact study  to quantify the impact.  No doubt the results will show the benefits the wine industry provides to agriculture, employment and tourism, among many other benefits.  Visit the Kentucky Vineyard Society or Kentucky Proud,  for more information on the State of Kentucky’s program for agricultural promotion.

The wine industry contributes $300 million to Michigan’s economy as reported by The Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council. Wow! Michigan is the nation’s fourth largest producer of grapes with over 15,000 acres of vineyards.  Remarkably, this number has doubled in the last 10 years!  We can’t imagine that this number will go anywhere but up and that’s good for Michigan and the wine industry.

For a state that had 3 wineries in 2000, Oklahoma has seen dramatic growth in the wine industry with over 60 wineries in 2014! What that means is roughly $100 million in annual economic impact providing 840 full-time equivalent jobs.  If you are looking for more information on the Oklahoma wine industry the Oklahoma Grape Industry Council and Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers, are happy to share this success on their respective websites.

The Kansas Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, explains that Kansas has experienced rapid growth of wineries for their century old tradition.  The State’s current number of wineries stands at around 25.  With a recent amendment to legislation allowing for some flexibility of sourcing of grapes for Kansas wineries, it is highly likely that the wine industry will sustain itself and continue to grow and support the state.

Exceeding 100 wineries, the State of Illinois reports that over 2000 jobs are attributable to the wine industry in its State.  Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, reports in excess of 200,000 winery related tourists pass through its state every year! Check out Illinois Wine for more.

The host state of the Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew Conference & Trade Show is Missouri.  The wine industry in Missouri has continued to expand in an exponential way no matter how it is measured – vineyard acres, grape production, jobs, tourism, suppliers for the industry.   To say the grape and wine industry is important to Missouri is in understatement.  To learn more go to the Missouri Wine and Grape Board’s website.

We challenge you to look at other Midwestern State’s grape and wine industry efforts – we think you will be pleasantly surprised!  Should this information inspire you to pursue your own grape or wine related venture, don’t hesitate to contact our office for guidance relating to the organization of your business and the permitting process.  We look forward to helping you.

We're Here to Help

Dear friends in the alcoholic beverage industry,

As we as an industry, nation and planet collectively try to navigate this unprecedented period the coronavirus has brought us, We’d like you to know that we at Craft Beverage Consultants (the other CBC!) are here to answer any question you may have (or not know you have) about not just surviving this time but positioning yourself to thrive as soon as social distancing measures allow your business to function at full capacity again.

If you schedule a free 60-minute phone or video conferencing consultation with me or any of my 11 highly specialized colleagues, we’ll help you figure out any of your immediate and/or longterm business needs, or “everything but the staffing,” as we like to say. We’re not high-pressure sales kind of people, especially these days, so you don’t have to worry about fending off annoying pitches. Make an appointment on our website or Facebook page, or just call us the old-fashioned way at 314-768-0220.

Our experts have a combined 150 years in the alcoholic beverage industry, with deep knowledge in everything from sales and distribution, production, and regulatory compliance to marketing, package design, event planning, IT, (social) media, hospitality, and even values-based executive coaching. 

For example, we can coach you through this season when chain accounts have canceled their spring, in some cases, fall resets and distributors have drastically cut orders. Our director of business strategy and compliance can save you money – now – on excise taxes, caution you to avoid naming your beers in ways that risk alienating your buyers (Wuhan Wheat? Coronavirus Cream Ale? Groan. No.), and secure TTB approval for the tastefully named beers you do make. Our creative director and web team can get your e-commerce site up and running and launch a social media campaign that keeps you top of mind for current and future customers. Our director of storytelling can put you in front of the press so you can tell your story to your community. 

Once you’re ready, we can look forward together. Now is the time to talk about post-virus. We all suspect the legal landscape to look different. But how? And how do you prepare yourself in a way that positions you to charge out of the gate ready to maximize the potential and profit of whatever the “new normal” turns out to be? Please get in touch so we can talk about it. 

CBC’s roster includes local and regional clients like Epic Brewing, Logboat Brewing, Piney River Brewing, SudWerk Brewing, Waves Cider and Common Cider Company, just to name a few.  The agency was founded in 2004 by Jacob and Beth Halls, formerly known as Convergence Consulting; Rick Laxague, joined as a partner in charge of sales, marketing and distribution consulting in 2019. 

Rick hase close to 20 years of experience, a bulk of which was with Crescent Crown Distributing in Arizona. His last role there was Area Sales Manager for the dedicated craft beer division, coaching and leading a sales team to be nationally recognized. In early 2014 Rick helped take a regional brewery national as their Director of National Accounts and increase that segment of their business from 30,000 cases to almost 300,000 cases in two years, an increase that equates to $4.8 million in IRI dollar sales. 

Co-founder Jacob Halls brings 17 years of experience in regulatory compliance, business strategy, marketing and craft brand management to the company. In his former position as craft brand manager for the N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company in Columbia, Missouri, Jacob helped lead his team to winning the 2016 Distributor of the Year award from New Belgium and to a nomination for the Brewers Association’s Distributor of the Year award. Jacob is also the founder and director of the South East Craft Beer Fest and several other industry specific charitable event marketing festivities. Beth Halls is Director of Business Operations and Coordinator of Charity Operations for the festivals and events run by CBC, such as the South East Craft Beer Fest, MO Bacon & Bourbon, and many more. 

Again, please reach out to us for anything.  CBC can be reached at (314) 768-0220 or at

We look forward to meeting/talking soon.


Rick Laxague, Jacob Halls, and Beth Halls